Astronomical Treasures – 26th January 2006

Our speaker this evening was Kevin Johnson from the Science Museum, who gave us a talk about Astronomical Treasures. The museum has a collection of over a quarter of a million objects, and more than 180000 of them are in storage. The collection includes many objects of interest to astronomers, including the pair of globes once owned by George III, the celestial globe which used drawings of the maker’s other products to illustrate appropriate constellations, and Dickert’s Lunar hemisphere, which is over 4 metres in diameter, and has many hundreds of craters mapped in relief. Instruments in the collection include ones used by Smyth, Lee, the Herschels, South, Groombridge, Lord Rosse, and many others. Some were used to make important early observations, and all had fascinating stories to tell.

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